The Trail jacket from Madison comes in two versions – the standard softshell or the water-resistant softshell, which is what we opted for. The M:Tec 3000 fabric construction is claimed to be fully windproof. The seams aren’t taped, so it’s water-resistant rather than waterproof, just as the name suggests.
We found it did a good job of keeping the draughts out even on the windiest of days, and the high zipped collar certainly helped keep us toasty. It’ll stave off rain showers without any issues too. With only a short-sleeved base layer underneath it’s surprisingly warm, but we did find the seams around the arm slightly irritating initially.
The lengthy sleeves give great coverage and the torso is tailored enough to avoid that nasty ballooning effect, but you can still fit a base layer and jersey underneath. There’s no dropped hem at the rear which means you miss that extra bit of coverage on really grim days but it does mean it looks a little less cycling-specific, and so can be worn post-ride too. The numerous zipped pockets are positioned well and the pit-zips can easily be accessed on the move.